Black Blogger Month, Social Wayne, Digital Revolutionary - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

Wayne Sutton of Social Wayne

Wayne Sutton takes tech to the streets

Wayne Sutton is social media. He personifies it so much so that his blog, which covers mobile marketing, app development, location-based services, social media, gadgets and technology, is aptly named SocialWayne. He’s been blogging since the 90s (way before WordPress was invented), has over 33,500 followers on Twitter, and even figured out a way to get people to follow him in real life using location-based services like TriOut.com and his own iPhone app, which both provide a Quick Response code reader and offers real-time group chat. In fact, Sutton, 36, a former network administrator, cofounded TriOutNC by leveraging the idea that QR code check-in contests could help brick and mortar businesses in North Carolina’s Research Triangle region take advantage of social media’s ability to amass traffic on the Internet and in real life.

More recently, he became one of six Black cofounders of GoKit.me, a startup launched in 48 hours at the South by Southwest annual conference in Austin, TX. GoKit.me gives anyone an opportunity to build a digital press kit, brand their identity, and provide a virtual landing page for resumes, portfolios, and all of their social activities. As the director of business development, Sutton does for GoKit.me what he has been doing for TriOut and many other individuals, startups, and small businesses; he helps them understand how to communicate on the social web via brand strategy and marketing.

Based on his expertise, Sutton will be a speaker on the “Go Digital or Die Trying” session at the 2011 Black Enterprise Entrepreneur’s Conference on May 22-25. But for now get a preview of his breadth of knowledge as part of Black Blogger Month.

I started blogging because…

I wanted to share my voice, thoughts, opinions, and information with others online. Years ago, before Twitter, before social networks, it was hard to find useful tech information. Blogging became that medium I used to help educate others. I blogged about gadgets, web design, and Mac changes. It was more about technology and less about social media.

What influences me now…

Is the fact that I know I have an audience and a readership and they have certain expectations of me. Knowing that, I try to provide the content that they’re looking for, things that are helpful to others, while at the same time being true to who I am and writing about things I’m still interested in.

People trust my brand because…

Social Wayne logo

How Sutton gets socialized

Of the relationships that I’ve built with them online. I try to meet as many people I can at conferences like SXSW and other events or just have a dialogue with them on Twitter or Facebook. It builds up integrity around your blog so when you do write something, people will trust or respect what you have to say because of the relationships that you built. Also, they trust me because I don’t post information that is incorrect just for SEO. That is not to say that I never have or never will use SEO. You need search traffic, but you should try to put up good content and people will trust you as a resource and come back to that.

The biggest mistake I ever made in business was…

Not being consistent writing on one blog. Social Wayne started in 2007, but that wasn’t my first blog. I had a blog in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but I let them die and started something else. I had a Blogspot, I had a WordPress.com, I had a Squarespace blog. Even two years ago, I had a dot.tv Website then I had another blog where I was writing about something else. I had different blogs all over the place and I never stuck to one URL or one blog over the years…

What I learned from that was…

Be consistent on one platform, have that one URL, one primary domain name, and one primary blog. If people say, what do you write about or where can I find more information about you [then you have one place for them to go]… Now I have just one blog where I can focus my energy. That has been valuable to me for search traffic. I may write some personal stuff every now and then but my blog has a mission statement or a content statement stating that the SocialWayne blog covers mobile marketing, application development, location based services, social media, gadgets and technology. I stick to that now and I’m not all over the place.

I realized blogging was a business…

In the early 2000s. Being a geek and a former network administrator who builds Websites and does Website design I’ve always looked at the internet as a business. I knew you could make money blogging despite people saying it would never be anything more than people in their pajamas blogging. Mainstream media discredited blogging. Blogger’s couldn’t get press passes. They didn’t want to quote a blogger. People looked down on you if you were a blogger. I always felt it could be something.

Uncle Sam got involved in my blog after…

In 2004 and 2005 I had my gadget blog and I was getting traffic and I had my Google Adwords kickback so I knew I could make money off of it. I probably made a few thousand dollars a year back then. It wasn’t a whole lot, but I thought I was doing something. As a blogger revenue comes indirectly. Because I can get consultant jobs from blogging. I get speaking jobs from blogging. And then I get stuff that can be considered income, perks, trips, and products… Uncle Sam got involved because I had to report that to the IRS. If you get money you have to report it.

I would feel obsolete if I…

Skipped writing more than three to four days on my blog.

Every small business owner in the 21st century should…

Have an online presence that is optimized for mobile devices but includes a place that tells the story of the company.

Be sure to check out the rest of the digital thought leaders as they’re revealed each day by logging on to BlackEnterprise.com/BlackBloggerMonth.

Join the Conversation

Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, SocialWayne.com chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining BlackEnterprise.com as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and BlackEnterprise.com helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.


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